A man's choices, living out of his true story, impact others. A wildness within, a redemptive wildness, goes with us, contributes to the larger hopes, the bigger picture. A sacred wildness, flowing like Rolling Creek, a real place. Real, like you, me, us, the community we embrace.
Two guys: Jon Kedrowski and Christ Tomer discovered an unprecedented desire to climb to the summits of 58 fourteeners throughout Colorado. Take that one step further: the goal was to”bivy” at the top: otherwise known as pitching a tent overnight. “Bivy” is the abbreviated term for the word “bivouac”; a French term that gained exposure from French mountain climbers. And this French word “bivouac”, according to the authors of Sleeping on the Summits: Colorado Fourteener High Bivys, refers to “a long night of suffering”.
These mountaineers would start their climbs in the afternoon, and catch the sun setting in the west, then watch the same sun come up in the east. The goal of Jon Kedrowski was to climb all 58 of the mountains that are fourteen thousand feet or higher. Tomer was not able to make all of these ascents, but he came along whenever it worked out.
Check out this 1:39 video featuring these two wilder men.
Sojourners metaphorically entering the Forest of Fangorn, unsure of what is ahead; unsure of what to do with what is ahead; unsure of what words to use; what weapons to wield in the battles to come, the battles to fight.
Winter. I’m off my game. Firewood has always been cut, chopped, stored, by now … albeit in different quantities / levels of sufficiency. ‘Snow blower has been “on-line”, ready to start, and go, and blow. Wool socks? Off course. My ski-bib overalls? Definitely. Boot-traction pads? Yes, they come in handy. This winter, no. All pieces scattered, not in place.
So, what happened?
Questions. Sometimes, the questions are (far) more important than the answers. I believe these dropped-balls are indicators of a deeper pain. I sit, and walk, in the tension between … immeasurable thankfulness, and undeniable longings for the fullness that I know could be there, or rather … here. I am reading excerpts of a book entitled Finding Our Fathers by Samuel Osherson. So much I could quote, but instead I will acknowledge a thematic, a global substance. Some of us, men, did not find … or receive … what we longed / long for, and we continue to live out our longings for our fathers, still hoping for what we needed / need (or wanted / want?). With that being said, I am in a place, my family provided for (not in abundance). I am also in a place … more weathered than ever before. As a dad for my kids, I cringe because of not being emotionally present, a provider of all that I want to provide (greed, or honorable longing?); as a husband, sad that I do not live as a swashbuckling Wilder Man bringing adventure to my awesome wife?
I am in the Fangorn Forest, a place where many men refuse to go. I feel compelled to share these parts of my story with other Wilder Men, hoping to encourage them as I need to be encouraged.
Do not give in to the night;
Do not forsake your vision;
Keep your sword, your sharpened sword, close and ready;
Live for those who you love, those who love you, in an other-centered movement;
And, love well …Not only fight well, but love well.
In the Fangorn Forest, I hope to walk with you, pushing through.
“Fangorn Forest was known for being the last habitation of the Ents. It was named after the oldest Ent, Fangorn (Treebeard). “
Aragorn: “The tracks lead away from the battle! Into… Fangorn Forest.”
[The three look up into a very dense forest.]
Gimli: “Fangorn! What madness drove them in there?”
This post is part of the Fiction Fragment Series; this edition, “Wilder Man & Cold”
Around 5am he stumbled out of the sleep … somewhat like a man emerging from a heavily wooded forest … looked out the hut-window, saw night and snow. His relative-friend, Melancholy, spoke to him from inside, triggered by darkness and cold outside. He closed the old faded heavy wool curtain, shutting out the out, guarding the in. The man was cold. And the coldness he felt in his soul was … weighty. His coldness was piercingly emphasized by the winter darkness, by the snow-cold. The cast iron wood burning stove, immovable, was also cold, showing indifference with the man in this hut. If a fire was laid, and started, then the stove would heat up, and give heat … to the man in this hut. If there was no fire, then the stove would stay cold. The man acknowledged the stove, in its indifference, and grabbed kindling, sticks, small log, and placed it all, intentionally, inside the stove. Match, lit, its flame brought to a six-inch stick, and the man in the hut edged the burning stick was into the stove, to light the kindling, to bring about some fire. His anxietous sense of urgency began to diminish. He stoked the fire. The warmth permeated his isolated, Siberian-like being. A new urgency materialized, a passionate need for coffee. With a similar focus, a sacred and fine tuned focus, the eccentric man in the hut began the detailed requirements for bringing an excellent cup of Mud to the appointed cup. The cup was eventually filled with the nectar from coffee beans. The man returned to the wood burning stove and tended to the fire; and then tended to his heart and soul. The cold had lost some of its power. But the battles would continue, until the other side of heaven. And, he knew that. He knew that all too well.
… has been rare this summer, not only amongst my two dogs, but from other dogs in our woods. The bigger, more profound, exception (with the nocturnal bark) would be when the bear comes near. Our dogs have a distinct “bear howl-and-bark” when a bear gets close. And the other dogs would be in league with ours, a passionate vigilant howling flying out of their bark-boxes through the rocks and trees.
Last night, I heard the Nocturnal Bark, somewhere between 5 and 5:30am. Stash was the only one barking. I was holding out for the possibility that the barking would stop. I was not meant to be so fortunate, it appears. I went outside to the deck, over the garage. It took a couple of seconds … only a couple of seconds … to recognize one of the most disgusting scents I’ve ever encountered: the spray from a skunk. You can imagine my first thought.
Scientific name for the Skunk, which also means
I stood on the deck, calling our dog, Stash (Stosh – – – with a short “o”). I could hear her, but could not see her, in the darkened woods. I was dreading the possibility that Stash’s focus was on a skunk, and she had no intent of leaving her post to come in. Shortly after my calling began, I heard Stash emit what sounded like a playful growl … All I could do is roll my eyes. I thought to myself: “She is either getting ready to get sprayed, or … she has already been sprayed, and she thinks that this skunk is playing with her.” I kept calling, and she kept refusing to come in. So, I came back in a half-hour, and resumed my calling. Finally, I heard her rustling / thrashing through the trees, making her way toward me. She climbed up the steps, through the gate, with the appearance that she had enjoyed playing with someone new in the forest. I didn’t want to smell the air around her, to determine if she had been successfully targeted by SkunkORama. I got the gate closed so that she couldn’t go back out to the woods. This morning, I walked out, cautiously took a whiff, and, to my disappointment, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my dog had been skunked. I know that one of the next things that needs to happen is that I have got get Stash into counseling, so she can push through these issues of acting like an idiot. Anyone have a referral for a dog counselor?
By the way, here is a picture of our dog, resting.
Scientists have researched Black Holes, in outer space, for many years – – – obviously. Now, there is reason to believe that there are Black Holes on our planet; not only on our planet but right here in the Rocky Mountains. That explains my (outer) garage. I had wondered many times about my (outer) garage, whether or not it was an actual Black Hole. It might be, but there are some characteristics about my (outer) garage-Black-Hole that don’t really fit the conventional Black Holes in space.
One difference: I actually conquered the daunting chaos in my (outer) garage about three months ago.
Another difference: with Black Holes in space, once you go in, you never come out (I think that is right).
Regardless of my victory over the (outer) garage, I have a sobering update. My garage is now lost, swallowed up by the Black Hole. Why? I am appreciative that you asked, my friends. My garage is lost, submerged in chaos, because we have projects (approximately 550), and whenever we are finished with a project we take our tools, materials, boxes, and place them … where? … in our (outer) garage. I was quite pleased with my progress when I conquered my (outer) garage. I made shelves of different sizes, storage areas for hardware, a place to store our tarps (hanging from the ceiling). I almost called Better Home and Gardens to have them come and do a story on my (outer) garage. But I came to my senses, and considered that irrational thought is not all that it is cracked up to be.
I gazed into my garage with a mixture of shock, grief, and confusion, and asked myself:
did all the space go,
from my outer garage?”
And then I realized, after looking at two words I chose in my question: 1) “outer”, and 2) “space”. Outer Space. That is where my garage space went. Outer Space. Chances are, it is in some Black Hole.
Artist’s impression of the surroundings of the supermassive black hole in NGC 3783
I could assume that I am the only wilderman and / or blogger that gets behind on his / her posts. What happens is … I start a post, don’t finish it, save it as a draft … and then about a week later, or a month later, I return to finish the draft. BUMMER. By then, the post is no longer recent. Such is the case with the story below. This post was supposed to go out (probably) a month ago.
Sky News did a story on a bear, a black bear, a black bear that had encountered a “bucket”, and this bucket became fastened to the bear’s head. The Daily Mail also covered the story, all the way from London. Note: the bucket was not a typical metal bucket: it was a rubber air bag normally used to cushion tractor trailers. From a distance, it looks like a canvas bag. There was a small opening in the end of the bucket, where the bear had been able to make into a bigger opening, and was able to feed itself.
From Sky News: http://news.sky.com/story/1329508/watch-bucket-bear-is-freed-by-brave-group:
My paraphrase, from the Sky News article, is that this bear in Pennsylvania was freed from the bucket on its head, by a group of brave volunteers. You can see a small video at the website above … If not there, then google Bear Bucket Images.
The Patriot News identified the hero-types as Dean Hornberger and girlfriend Samantha Eigenbrod who planned, and carried out, the rescue with other fearless volunteers. Samantha (Eigenbrod) handledthe video piece while the others tackled the bear down, pulled the bucket off, and used a saw to cut through the bucket. Mission completed, the bear made a run for it, undoubtedly in a much better “head-space”. At this time, there has been no contact with, or comments from, the bear. Some believe that the bear has gone into hiding. I cannot fully grasp the frustration he had to bear (pun). Since I have ran out of space, and time, I will have to delay my thoughts about the legends of “Bear-Man”. Some say that Bear Man is actually “Bigfoot”. However, Bigfoot has a smaller head, and also stays away from buckets., But, again: that is a different story.
The image below was taken on Friday, September 13th. Some of you have already seen this image. You might have to expand the picture to make it worth your while. This first snow started happening around Midnight, between the 12th and the 13th. I was doing some work that led me late into the night and early morning. That’s when I noticed.
But the whiteness was not that noticeable until after Midnight. As you can see, it is but a “dusting” of snow, not much of a snowfall. Yet, it is enough to embarrass me, as I confess that I am behind on wood cutting … and without excuses, so no compassion is warranted. I also confess my lack of vision, a truth animated by these cold temperatures and poor visibility from the mist / fog / snowy air. Simply put, I am heavy with this incoming winter. Do I have any basis for complaining? No.
The first snow could have happened before now. And, thankfulness is what should be happening: God’s gift of seasons; the whiteness to symbolize what is good; the moisture for the trees, and the waterfalls. Sometimes … in our lives … the coldness comes, poor visibility happens. After it’s all said and done, we have reason to sing.
By the way, friends, the reason for the delay on this post was because of my other laptop’s demise. However, Fed Ex drove by about thirty minutes ago with my birthday present. My birthday has already passed, but thankfulness is high, for this laptop – birthday present. I decided my first order of business was to finish this post that I attempted to write before the untimely passing of my previous laptop. Indeed, I am thankful for my wife’s kindness to procure a healthier laptop for me. Thank you, my dear. I think, but I’m not sure, that this laptop doesn’t require an oil change every three-thousand miles. That’s a bonus, eh?